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Notes from the Organ Bench

MARCH

Lent can be a depressing time. We have had about all the winter we can stand. The land is still quite lifeless, and we hear about the impending death of our Savior, Jesus Christ. However, in the midst of all this something from the Bible will jump out and make us feel better. The Psalm we used last Sunday is a perfect example. Many times we sing or read through the psalm on Sunday without really hearing what it is telling us. This is the case with Psalm 27. In the midst of not only Lent, but all the terrible and tragic things that are happening in our world, we can take great comfort and assurance from this psalm. It is one of my favorites.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation- so why should I be afraid?" No matter how dark our lives become, God is always the light at the end of the tunnel. "The Lord protects me from danger- so why should I tremble?" Even in tragedy and danger, God is there for us. "The one thing I ask of the Lord- the thing I most seek- is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life." The one thing we must strive for, is to be able to share eternity with Jesus our Savior. "For He will conceal me there when troubles come; He will hide me in His sanctuary." When we are in God's presence, nothing can harm us. "Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close." When we are wrapped in the arms of Jesus we will have that feeling that we had as a child wrapped in our parents arms. "Yet I am confident that I will see the Lord's goodness while I am here in the land of the living." God wants us to have happy and prosperous lives. Yes, there will be hard times, but God will always bless us with good things. "Wait patiently for the lord, be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord." Having patience and waiting is not something we do well. We want things our way and we want them now. It is not like that with God. He will answer our prayers, but in His time and in His way. All we have to do is wait. And so, here we are again, waiting for the death of Jesus. The story is all too tragic. Why do we have to hear it again and again? It is to remind us to be patient, to wait, because we know that Jesus does not stay dead. The disciples were impatient. After Jesus died they thought this was the end. They didn't want to wait for the rest of the story. Jesus told them He would be killed and on the third day He would rise. And He did. God saved the world from sin. But He did it in His way and in His time. Jesus said He would come again. But when? We don't know. It will be in His way and in His time. So all we can do is be patient and wait. "Wait patiently for the Lord, be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord." He will come again someday, in all His glory. There will be no more sorrow, no more weeping, no more night. Only praising and singing to the Great I Am.

I can hardly wait!



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FEBRUARY

This is different. It's Sunday, January 31, and instead of playing the organ, I'm typing this article. I can only remember 3-4 times in 30+ years that church had to be cancelled due to weather. So, my Sunday morning routine has been disrupted. It just doesn't "feel" right. I went for a short walk this morning, just to enjoy the view and the crisp air. I took some pictures of the white wonderland that lay before me. Snow is a big deal to us. When I talk to my son, Chris, who lives in Minnesota, he says they laugh at us because we get all excited over a couple of inches of snow. That's merely a flurry to them. But, since we don't get snow often, we can get excited all we want. In my Bible readings, the people of Israel have had some things to be excited about. First off, they got freed from Egypt. That was pretty exciting! Walking through the Red Sea only to turn around and watch the sea swallow up the Egyptians. 


COOL!!! They got food provided to them every day for free. Manna and quail. All they had to do was pick it up. Life wasn't so bad in the wilderness. Until things went wrong. Then they would groan and moan about everything. Putting poor old Moses in a pickle. Well, you know how the story goes. Two things have stuck out to me this time, from Exodus and Leviticus. First, while Moses was on the mountain, getting the original copy of the Ten Commandments, the people were making a golden statue of a cow. They had already seen the power and might of God, but just because Moses was gone too long, they figured they'd make something of their own to worship. An idol. And we all know how God feels about idols. I wonder, are we any different today? I was watching a show the other night, showing how they built the new Dallas Cowboys stadium. They claim it's the biggest and best in the world. And it may be. But in some ways, isn't that an idol. Many of the people responsible for building it, and many of the ones that will go there seem to worship that stadium more than God. How many of us do the same, on a smaller scale. We think we need the biggest flat screen TV there is, the fanciest car, the best house, I could go on and on. Don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with having nice things. I think God wants us to have nice things. But it's when those nice things come between us and God, there is a real problem.

The people of Israel had nice things, even though they were wandering in the desert. The Bible says they took their jewelry and other gold things to make the golden cow. It would take a lot of earrings to make a cow! I think what the Bible is trying to say to us is this. Keep God first in your life. Worship Him only. Do this and you will find true happiness.



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